Through photographs taken on both sides of the Atlantic, in places where the Internet’s fibres are concentrated, Known and Strange Things Pass reflects on the deep and complex intertwining between technology and everyday life.
Microscopic life forms emerge from the foam of the sea. Meanwhile, tangled electrical wires carry information. How permeable are the boundaries between things? How much do we know, and how much remains hidden and alien, of the physical reality surrounding us? Almost everything we do online passes through tubes stretched across the seabed, connecting one continent to another. As the immateriality of the web becomes an increasingly difficult illusion to sustain, both the Internet and the Ocean are alien to us, difficult to think about because so incredibly vast. We can understand them conceptually, but we know and can only ever see a small part of them.
Looking at them more closely, worlds that we imagine as separate dissolve into each other - the near and the distant, the physical and the virtual, technology and what we consider natural. What unites them are the subjects immortalised in Sewell's shots. Seemingly simple and familiar elements give life to much more complex ecosystems, which we often take for granted despite their extreme fragility.
Andy Sewell (UK, 1978) is a British photographer based in London. His work explores the permeability of borders. During the course of his career he published three books: The Heath (2011), Something like a Nest (2014) and Known and Strange Things Pass (2020). His first book,The Heath, won the International Photobook Award and is included in The Photobook: A History Vol. III edited by Martin Parr. His work can be found in private and public collections among which the V&A Museum, MAST Foundation, The Museum of London, Columbia University Art Collection, Eric Franck Collection, The Hyman Collection and National Media Museum.
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